Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Please Welcome our new family member

Please give a warm welcome to our new family member 'Rhubarb' (was Drooliet).  We adopted this little girl from the local dogs home last Friday.  Do I need to tell you there has been no art done since?  She is a bit of a full time job just now, especially trying to settle her in with the boys.
The 'live together in harmony' thing is not quite happening yet, we all need to get used to each other for a while.  Though as we are having a few grumps and growls all round I do have to keep my wits about me and have eyes in the back of my head at all times.
Hoping I can get back to doing some sort of art soon as I really do miss it, but with the holiday season upon us too I seem to have very little time, this week is all about sorting the dogs and going out to visit family - hoping Christmas day is not too long, as dont want to be leaving the dogs alone for too long, hubby does usually 'escape' to have to feed them half way through, he does this willingly.  Boxing day is family with us, which will be interesting to say the least.

I doubt there will be much more blogging now till new year when I get back in the art seat with new idea's.

Have a Great Christmas and fantastic new year to all xx

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

100 faces challenge

..and I thought I was all alone in this challenge!  it was pointed out to me in one of my blog posts that there was others doing the same challenge... I found them on instagram.  A great bunch of wonderful artists who set themselves a challenge for one hundred faces.  So I have of course joined in with the instagram posting and found the 'one hundred faces tribe' on a facebook group.
Though I do faces in my journal, and on loose leaf and just about everywhere inbetween my own challenge is to do 100 'Paint Palette Polly's'  I am now up too number 12 - so I am a bit behind the others in the challenge.  But they are teaching me a lot.
You might notice the first faces in my art journal up above are slightly different.  This is me practicing with charcoal and pastels.  Some of the 100 faces tribe do some wonderful art with charcoal, so I dug out my charcoal and chalk pastels too, not quite in their league but then they do paint realism which 'clearly' I do not.
This last 'Polly' here is the usual painted background, but the face was drawn with charcoal and coloured with chalk pastels - made a great change for me.  I have only listed up to number 9 in my Etsy shop and plan to take a break from listing them there in order to take the pressure off and just have more fun with my art.  I have been watching some great video's on youtube by Christy Sobolewski which has led me to dig out the A3 paper and have more fun..
This is a 'work in progress' I am doing - not sure what to do with that lovely background yet, as it is too much for the piece I know, shame to cover it but its just not working.  The girls need finishing off and shading yet too.

Here ends my first post of a new month.  It is now December and here in the UK the weather is turning somewhat chilly, time for the winter duvet tonight as that wind is bitter, might even need the thermals for dog walkies tomorrow.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Blogging... its a lonely business

Above are the latest 'Paint Palette Polly's' number 6 - 9.  These will be added to the Etsy Store soon.  I just spent the last couple of hours editing the photo's after doing the photo's in the only bit of available light this morning, such a dark day there was very little of it about.

The title of today's blog is 'Blogging.........its a lonely business'.  If you scroll down you will see my last post had no comments, the one before that did.. but then I actually 'asked' for visits in my art group.  I do have to ask though.  Luckily the main reason I blog about my art is so I have a record of what I have done and when, and to put out my original idea's (at least I think they are, again on a blog I hope I would be told if not)on record.  I follow a lot of blogs, but mainly because I have no idea how to 'unfollow' them.  When I started out I used to take the time to comment on every one of them, as it is no good complaining about no comments if you dont do so yourself is it?  I soon realised this was simply a waste of valuable time.

If you take the time to look around on social media there are a lot of hidden 'cries for help' from people who are either very lonely, or in need of some encouragement or recognition for what they are doing........ it does not take long to give someone a lot of cheer in their day.  I am not going to mention were I found this, but I 'do' facebook groups, pinterest, instagram and etsy groups and found a couple of fledgling artists who just need a kind word to help their struggle with life.

On the whole artists are a great bunch of people.. but I think we can sometimes get lost in the 'selling' thing and forget the 'human' side.  Or maybe it is just your life is going well and you may not notice its not going that well for everyone?

Before I waffle on for ever, (and I really do need to get the dog out before it gets any darker) - please do me a favour today while you are scrolling around on the net - keep an eye for someone who might need that kind word, be it on Facebook/Etsy/Instargram/twitter.. it will only take a minute.

Lastly (yes, I am going now) I would like to wish our friends in the USA a Happy Thanksgiving, have a great few days taking time off and spending it with family and friends........... and turn those PC's off for a few days!!!!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

This weeks creativity

You may remember a 'very' long time ago I painted a clock for my Etsy shop.  I 'finally' managed another couple I am happy with.  Not that I havent done them for a while, I just was not happy with them, but happy with these two and they will be added to my shop this week.  I must point out as I will on the listing, the houses are not my own art work but created with a stencil from the lovely 'Tam' at 'Willowing.org'.
Also finished Polly's 7a and 8.  Yes I know '7a' as 7 was just a very 'poor' Polly, she will remain in my file but I think she is better just staying in there, not every day is a good one.........ok............ here she is. but she will NOT be going up as a print.
See what I mean? not my best of days.  I have many idea's for variations of the 'Polly's' but this was not one of my better creations.
I also do a lot of practice in my magazine journal, this is one I was practicing painting techniques on yesterday.
.and to finish off today's blog, here are 'the boys' after today's beach walkies, although they were dried off they are feeling the cold today, and yes we do have a larger sofa they fit a lot better on.. but they choose this one..
Have a good week, and if you are in the UK keep warm - I have a feeling the cooler weather is on its way.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Paint Palette Polly's take over

Well, all four of the Polly's from my last blog post are now on sale as prints in my Etsy Store.  The originals are safely displayed in a file to keep them clean.  I am still loving these, just as well as of the 100 I intend to do I still have 94 left.  They are changing as they go, which I think is a great appeal, and very inspiring to me.
I also have 3 Postcard Polly's that I have no idea what to do with as yet.  I purchased a photo album to put them in while I make up my mind.  I am 'toying' with the idea of cards, or having them printed as a collection of postcards, but need to be bringing some finances in first for that.
So serious am I to try move forward with my artwork I have today applied for a 'real' job doing 'Admin' work, not my chosen way to fill my days but alas has become necessary.  I will have less time to paint, but at least I can afford to buy some!
I have not prepared the next lot of 'Polly's' for printing as yet.  Also working on 'Christmas Polly' and a few sketches with a view to possible Christmas cards, probably not to sell but to send out to friends.

Downside of winter months is the lack of decent light, not as many hours in the day to paint - I do have lighting but prefer daylight.. roll on new year and slight longer days please.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Introducing Paint Palette Polly's

Very Happy to be introducing my new series called 'Paint Palette Polly's'.  Above is a picture of my first four prints soon to be on sale in my Etsy store.  I intend to do another 96 in total, this may take some time.  At present I have decided just to sell them as 'prints' and to keep hold of the originals.
The Polly's came to be as a result of my Gulfsprite art class introducing us to Robert Burridge and his fabulous flowers, this is how I came to do my first flowers in his style, from using my paper as a paint palette and taking it from there.  I used acrylic paper as a palette first.  I was playing about on one of my palette's and my first face appeared there in the same style.  I was going to call the collection 'Recycled Rita's' but there was already that name and Etsy store out there... so I went to my art group 'Art 101' and asked for help, there was some great idea's came about but my favourite was from artist 'Jolie Raimondo' who had the idea for 'Paint Palette Polly'.
I have also 'finally' got around to making a print of this one, done in one of my art classes with Christy Sobolewski at Gulfsprite.  This too will be added to my shop soon as a print.
Its Mums birthday next week, so I have painted this one for her, its also glittery so hoping that works in the frame (yet to be purchased).
I have manage to do all my photo's (and soon to do the draft listings) today as I managed to hurt my hand yesterday painting in a smaller style, its not a great photo but this is the first time I have ever managed anything half decent in a small size, I am 'thinking' of calling her 'Postcard Polly' and maybe doing a few more if my hand recovers, I have some smaller brushes on the way so that might help me not grip so much.. all still a learning curve over 3 years later.
Thank you to Iris for her recent encouragement and to Julia who always takes time to support and comment on my Facebook Page.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Introducing my very first art print

I am very excited as I have just added my VERY first print to my Etsy shop.  Hopefully the first of many, it is a bit like a dream come true.  (you can see my Etsy shop here on the right of the page, the link will take you there).

I am having a lot of fun with flowers of late, even started trying some 'real' ones as well as the abstract idea.  Also got a new line of paintings going on too, which 'when' I manage a collective name for them I will show off, enjoying the painting side but the naming bit can get a bit tricky.

Here is my first painting of 'real' flowers, I might add this to my shop as a print next week.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Welcome November Art

Another thing I got from my recent Obsessions course with Gulfsprite was the inspiration to do MORE art.  Above is my first page in my 'new' journal I made from just a supplies magazine, I could hardly wait to start in it.  My goal though is to finish it, not get fed up half way through and start another, but to actually complete one.  The inspiration for the above painting was from watching one of Christy (at Gulfsprite) art journal flip through's, were I found doing three faces on one page very challenging but fun too, this did take me the best part of the day to complete, I even finished off by using fixative on it, and intend to coat it too tomorrow.
I still haven't lost the abstract flowers addiction either - I am now numbering them, this one is abstract flowers 6.
..and this one is number 7.  I really should print off an actual bouquet instead of just going from my imagination, sure I could do better that way.  But maybe not so much fun.  I may run off this one as a print for my Etsy shop, but not sure still which to choose from.  Still not added any prints, but a step closer.  I did add my first Christmas tote bag to the Etsy shop today, last of the one's I made and on sale like the others, and my warm bright scarves too.  You can see my shop link on the top right of the page, please do take a look.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Revamping the art journal page

Ever had one of those pages that really just didn't do it? me too....
I did this for the front cover of a new journal made from part of a magazine, the idea was good but what went on paper was not quite what was in my head at the time.  So this was perfect for my latest Obsessions lesson with Gulfsprite I went back in to revamp the page, give it a look I was happier with, here it is half way through.
At the same time I learnt a few new (to me) techniques for improving the faces I paint.  The finished page of my new journal now looks like this..
I like it much better now.  I might just varnish it too as I have the other one, then it will stay cleaner when I use the rest of the journal.  During this wonderful course I also learnt how to work on more than one thing at a time, whilst letting things have longer to dry (this helps a lot with the layers), so at the same time I did this one... from this......
which is an idea for a painting I still cannot quite master.  But I battled on and turned it into this..
Still not quite what I had hoped but its finished now, I think..............
No time today to do much art, being a Saturday its all about visiting family and their visitng us, so very little free time.  Also due to firework 'season' I have to feed the dogs early and get them out before dark - not looking forward to this weekend as our lurcher is very fearful of fireworks nearby and I just 'know' the neighbours will be letting them off again, thankfully the neighbours just do one night a year unlike the rest of the area.

Sympathies to others with fearful pets or others like myself who prefer their quiet lives.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!!

Hope you enjoy my little picture.  This painting was done from a tutorial by my friend Iris at Iris-Impressions You too can follow this tutorial by simply clicking on the highlighted link.

My version is not an exact copy I strayed a bit into 'my own thing' but really enjoyed the lesson and the little whimsty girl.

I am still busy painting and enjoying my Obsessions class, though sad it is the last day today.  Also getting ready to prepare some prints for my Etsy shop soon.

Stay safe for halloween and enjoy.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Loving the Abstract Flowers

I am still just loving to paint this style of flowers.  Hopefully they are very much my own and not like any other, as though I learnt the technique in my Obsessions Class I have tried to make them mine.
Its not called an 'Obsessions' class for nothing, I really am getting an addiction to these.  Sadly there has been no interest in the one I added to my Etsy shop as yet, but maybe when the prints are added this will change, lets hope so.  I also did a fabulous lesson on mixed media flowers too, using collage, paint, pencil, inks....
My vase was very popular, but I did only do that how I was taught, and yes I do love it too.  We are also to be taught how to make a journal from a magazine, but I cant wait so did mine already, will probably learn a bit more but I enjoyed this, and it certainly does help when not worrying about precious paper.
As Obsessions has just run for October, the downside is it is due to finish this week, this has been one of my favourite classes EVER and I will be sad when it is done, although at the same time cant wait to see what we learn next week.  I am currently still working on last Friday's lesson which is amazing too, will show you that next time.. I can see me doing more of that style too.  Meanwhile I will leave you with more of my flowers..

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

For Lynda by Lynda

I began this painting yesterday as a tribute to a much loved actress who left us far too soon.  Lynda Bellingham was such a joy to many she will be sadly missed by all her fans, not just as 'the oxo lady' but to many of us old enough to remember her in so many other drama's too, esteemed actress and such a joyful and attractive lady.
I called my flowers 'for Lynda by Lynda' as of course she is also my namesake.  I do not know yet if I will put them up for sale or not, maybe as a print in the future.

I got brave today too, whilst awaiting the arrival or my printing facility - I have listed my 'first bouquet' on Etsy .. just now, so see how that goes.  I love doing these abstract flowers, learnt this from a lesson by Gulfsprite that was influenced by her mentor 'Bob Burridge' a great artist.  Here it is shown in a frame on my wall.
I am almost tempted to keep it.. infact, if it does not sell I will take it out of shop and just sell the prints.  We have scanned it ready to produce prints too in the future.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Coming Soon, my Art in Prints!

I have been busy of late doing the Obsessions course on collage with Gulfsprite (links below in blog posts).  I love this course and have been doing many lessons more than once I enjoy them so much, and then going off and doing different idea's from them and more sketching and idea's in my evenings.  Also been given so much more encouragement and confidence.
 I have manged to push through many personal upsets and health issue's and focus on my art works.  As a result I have 'finally' ordered the means to produce my own archival prints so at this time I am intending to remove most of my original art from my Etsy Shop and be selling prints at a more affordable price and to other countries, as it is too pricey to post large canvas's.  This is very exciting for me, as I intend to keep all my original work for future exhibiting.

No printing is actually done as yet, so for now all my original art is available in my Etsy Shop I will of course announce here when my first prints are added.  Busy time of year too, as whilst I am learning some new painting skills I am also putting paintings aside as gifts for Christmas.  I am also toying with the idea of having some cards printed too, maybe I should design some seasonal ones? still chasing those extra hours in the day, there are just never enough....

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

My folk art and my Obsessions

Starting with the October Obsessions class with Gulfsprite, you can find out more about this and other classes here Christy's Website 
Above was week one, which is (as requested by me) lesson on collage, I think I am making more progress now, I was struggling on how to connect my collage idea's onto paper, this excellent lesson has helped me understand this concept.  Part of the lesson was to focus on something currently on your mind, I have just started to read Eckhart Tolle's book 'The Power of Now' which has so far given me a lot of much needed help.
This was Lesson 2, and focused on making art from an already chaotic background.  Again I am trying to encorporate other idea's alongside my beloved faces, I am trying to draw other things, but I just want to do faces.. and why not? I feel they can be a bit boring though by themselves.  Also in this peace are some of the folk art theme's I am learning.
Here is another exercise from the Folk Art book I am studying, I have been having some difficulties so I have some better brushes en route to help me with the strokes.  I also learnt 'stippling' new to me, and I enjoy that process.
This one is a bit of everything, the houses were taken from lesson 3 in the book of a house, the tree's from another book, my own garden idea's, and the pigs are collaged from papers, I drew the pig onto and cut out, added a bit of shading too.  I am enjoying this journal, it is very different from my usual ones with 'just' faces in, this one has lots of colour and full pictures.
I am looking into the idea of running off some prints for my Etsy shop at some point, I have looked into giclee prints but they are so expensive it may well be better for me to invest in the archival ink, archival papers and do my own.. watch this space...................  (but dont hold your breath as it might take me a while to finance this idea).

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

This weeks Art Practice

Still on the Folk Art theme, I received a copy of the 'folk Artist' magazine, which is published in Australia.  There are lots of art works and tips in there, shame it is not readily available in the UK though.  I have just ordered 5 back copies and you do not want to know what the postage on that was!
My new Art Journal and new found interest in Folk Art was all going well, the art was flowing each day and I was having a ball..
Until on Saturday I began feeling a bit 'iffy' there are an awful lot of cold's around at the moment so I figured that was it, must be started with the 'sniffles' no matter, keep going........... at least that was what I though, until BAM - it turned out to be the worst virus I have had in about 10 years, I took to my bed for most of two days, its now Wednesday and I am still sick and not sleeping due to the sinus pain and generally 'ickiness' - this is NOT good for art practice at all.
Today I forced myself to finish up the Art Geeks projects I was doing...
This month was about background and translucent faces - I still have the passion for faces, never happy unless I am doing at least one per day so happy projects for me..
Above was with collage too, really enjoyed this lesson.
I almost forgot, on Sunday I did manage to do the first project in a superb book 'folk art landscapes' its the first time I have tried a house, and though it is not spectacular I liked it and not too bad a job to say I was not feeling 100% either.
I thought I did very well to resist the urge to put a face on it too - this was done in my new journal that I am getting happier with each day, just wish I could avoid the paint on the spirals as it gets tough to open and close over the pages.. might have to seek advice on that one.

I am now off to put my head over a bowl of steaming water and 'vicks' to try unblock my sinus's so I can remember that 'breathing' thing again, and hopefully try that other thing called 'sleep' tonight.  Anyone going through this horrid virus right now you have my utmost sympathy.